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29 A.B.A. J. 316 (1943)
John Henry Wigmore 1863-1943

handle is hein.journals/abaj29 and id is 324 raw text is: JOHN HENRY WIGMORE
Professor, Northwestern University Law School

RUDE thrust of fate has prematurely removed
from the earthly scene a great master of the law, a
great gentleman, and a great human being. Dean
Wignore had completed his eightieth year. Non segni-
bus annis sed actis evvum implebat-his life was meas-
ured by toil and not in sluggish years. Excluding supple-
mentary volumes and earlier editions, he had published
forty-two original volumes, including ten volumes of the
magnum opus, A Treatise on Evidence, and thirteen
volumes of opera minora. He had also put out seven
volumes of case-books or other compilations. In addi-
tion, he had arranged, edited, written various introduc-
tions to, and provided translations for, thirty other
volumes. In the publication of the edited volumes, with
the exception of Greenleaf on Evidence (16th ed., Vol.
I), he had the cooperation of many others, but next to
the authors themselves, it cannot be doubted that his
part, both qualitatively and quantitatively, was very
This sum total of seventy-nine volumes, even after
such diminution for the part contributed by others, as
may be necessary, perhaps has never been exceeded in
sheer bulk by any law writer. Moreover, against the
diminution suggested, it is probable additions will be
found, if and when the account is finally stated.
It is a curious fact that in all these labors, Dean Wig-
more never made use of a professional research assistant.
The illumination and the drudgery were his alone. He

wrote a clear hand and his copy could go to the printer
without the delay (and mistakes) of an intermediate
type-script. He read his own proofs. He could read a
three-page galley proof in what amounted to little more
than a glance. In that glance he would detect the most
obscure errors wherever they lurked on the galley.
The Treatise on Evidence has been rated as one of
the greatest intellectual feats in law-writing of any age
or of any country. Dean Wigmore is best known in this
country and England through this notable work. By
means of it he had always maintained a close contact
in Common Law countries with the practicing lawyer,
who has long since discovered that this treatise contains
much more than the unfamiliar words, autoptic profer-
ence. In continental Europe, evidence is not a subject
but only a topic, and in consequence Dean Wigmore's
fame in Europe rested on different grounds.
Dean Wigmore's career suggests a comparison with
the lives of such great legal personalities, among others,
as Jeremy Bentham, Sir Frederick Pollock, Mr. Justice
Holmes, and Josef Kohler. Such a comparison is not
here in question. It will suffice to recall that Dean Ros-
coe Pound, himself a distinguished intellectual athlete
and a formidable legal scholar, generously rated Dean
Wigmore as our first legal scholar.
Dean Wigmore was the Crichton admirabilis of his
time. His natural endowments were far above the aver-
age and his accomplishments prodigious. He was a con-

Dean and Mrs. Wigmore in the Law School Gardens, Northwestern University

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